Thursday, February 19, 2009



The second house that I found myself living at after I moved to Raleigh was on Boylan Ave. I moved in at the end of 1986 after the Ashe Ave. house imploded. Rob Demko also joined me and together we moved into this modest little house and joined Mike Dean and Tom "Art Deco" Mekus. I seem to remember that we were essentially replacing the infamous Lee Johnson, who had left all of her crap in the attic. More on that later.
The house was nicknamed "the Hippie House" by Scott Williams I think. You couldn't really dispute it since both Art and Mike Dean were entering the grooviest time period of their lives, a logical progression from the punk rock mindset that was commonly embraced at the time. It was winter when we arrived, and they were both too anti-establishment to have turned on the gas heat, so they rigged up a wood stove and with some careful blanket arranging over certain doorways, they successfully heated the entire house. We were lucky. I remember that was the time that I saw and lived through my first real snowfall. It didn't really snow in Southern California, you see. And it snowed for a long time it seemed. Rent was laughably cheap back then and looking back it is really hard to believe. I think I paid seventy five bucks for my own room, my share of the rent. Pretty amazing, but it was a real long time ago.

We had a lot of fun there. Art used to walk around naked seemingly a half hour before and after he took a shower. One time Mike Dean was sleeping in a sleeping blanket where he was snug as a bug in a rug, only his massive red dreadlocks peeking through. He looked like a rasta burrito. I kept teasing him and eventually he jumped up with one sweeping movement, yelled ARRGGHHH at me and chased me through the house naked. That was something. The house was a block down the street from where Reed Mullin lived, a gigantic two story house that was nicknamed "the mansion". There was a lot of spillover from that house, a lot of people came through there and eventually wandered down the street to our place. I remember that a lot of bands stayed with us. In the middle of winter, SNFU stayed with us and we cooked them a huge spaghetti dinner. Firehose stayed with us once. Mike Watt had apparently almost blown his face off in some car mechanic mishap. It was all bandaged up and shit. I remember he sort of talked every ones ear off late into the night and when everyone was asleep, he just sort of talked to himself while looking at the various pictures and things that we had hanging around the house. I remember Government Issue staying with us and how they sort of made me listen to their newest unreleased record in my room complete with a song by sing description of what each song meant according to their singer, John Stabb. I remember getting stoned with Rob and George Hurley. Another time there was a "bong out" session with the drummer from Saint Vitus. Other people that stayed with us included DC3, Beyond Possession and the Flaming Lips, amongst many more. It was pretty neat.

A lot of bands passed through, but that was nothing compared to the amount of roommates that passed through. When Mike Dean quit COC he also quit Raleigh and he was gone. Before all of that, he had cut his dreads and we left them on the fireplace mantle. They were disgusting. Some out of towners came through and we jokingly offered them Mike's dreads and them being big fans, they took em! I seem to remember Andy Freeburn moving in, and then later on Stephanie Ripple, our one female mainstay, also moved in. I seem to remember that Art eventually got sick of living with all of us and moved across the street to another groovy house that was ten times groovier but also ten times neater. I remember Michelle Estebon and Brian Gentry were around but I can't remember if either of them actually lived there. There was a Indian girl named Natasha that lived there briefly and I seem to remember some of us really wanted to have sex with her and before you knew it she had moved out as well. Then there was a girl named Sidney who also lived with us for a very short time until she announced that she was suddenly pregnant and left. It turned out that she was the daughter of John McCain of all people. There was another girl whose name I can't remember and she moved in and couldn't stand it and started to leave mean little notes and she too was gone.

Eventually the rest of my time at Boylan Ave consisted of the core of me, Rob Demko, Andy Freeburn and Stacy Ripple. Together we rode it out to the bitter end. We sweated our asses off in the summer and we woke up at six in the morning in a laughable attempt to do some gardening before it got too hot. It was a dismal failure. In the next winter we froze our asses off while it snowed, Art and Mike Dean were long gone and none of us could start that damn wood stove so we just froze and froze and built character I guess. We learned how to sleep in full winter garb while being covered with ten blankets. That was fun. Some of us had those nasty little kerosene heaters, some did not.

The attic actually had a nice little cozy room. Stephanie lived there. The rest of the attic had all of this discarded crap left in the rafters. It was a endless supply of goodies. I think most of it was Lee Johnson's. One day I went throgh some of it and found some rare punk singles (that I gave out to various people) and other punk rock artifacts that were of some use to me..old live tapes of local bands and tons of pictures too. I also found some pornography that was wrapped really tightly in cellophane and some endless glamour shots of Lee Johnson. She was posing and pouting and looking really sexy. It was a trip that she left this stuff there for anyone to rummage through. She never set foot in that house again from what I remember.

The attic also was the cause of the sudden and swift vacancy of the house by all of us. One day Todd Ritchie was rummaging in the attic amongst the rafters for more of Lee Johnson's endless supply of goodies. I was downstairs. Suddenly I heard the sound of crumbling crashing plaster. Then I heard Todd call out from the attic "Sorry!"

I ran into my room where Rob was sitting on my bed reading something. He is looking up at the ceiling and there is dust and plaster everywhere. Todd had fallen partially through the attic into my room.

So we just all moved out at the end of the month, and never even mentioned this to our seventy-five year old landlord. We just left. That marked the end of Boylan Ave.

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